India Covid Cases Surpass 20 Million, Deaths Top 220,000 as Crisis Worsens

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “India Covid Cases Surpass 20 Million, Deaths Top 220,000 as Crisis Worsens” – below is their description.

    COVID-19 infections and deaths are mounting with alarming speed in India with no end in sight to the crisis, and a top expert has warned that the coming weeks will be “horrible.”

    India’s official count of coronavirus cases surpassed 20 million Tuesday, nearly doubling in the past three months, while deaths officially have passed 220,000.

    The true figures are believed to be far higher, the undercount an apparent reflection of the troubles in the health care system.

    Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health in the US, said he is concerned that Indian policymakers he has been in contact with believe things will improve in the next few days.

    The country has witnessed scenes of people dying outside overwhelmed hospitals and funeral pyres lighting up the night sky.

    Infections have surged in India since February in a disastrous turn blamed on more contagious variants of the virus as well as government decisions to allow massive crowds to gather for Hindu religious festivals and political rallies before state elections.

    India’s official average of newly confirmed cases per day has soared from over 65,000 on April 1 to about 370,000, and deaths per day have officially gone from over 300 to more than 3,000.

    Experts say government needs to hasten immunizations. But the world’s largest maker of vaccines is short of shots – the result of lagging manufacturing and raw material shortages.

    Experts are also worried the prices being charged for shots will make it harder for the poor to get vaccinated.

    India is vaccinating about 2.1 million people daily, or around 0.15% of its population.

    Jha said the focus needs to be on “classic” public health measures: targeted shutdowns, more testing, universal mask-wearing and avoiding large gatherings.

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    India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the second-most populous country, the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world. New Delhi is the capital.

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